I’m delighted to announce the birth of a new WI in Barnsley. It will meet at the Outpost pub on Sheffield Road on 6th November and Monday 4th December, doors open 7.15pm for a 730 start.
The WI ain’t what it used to be – all Jam and Jerusalem, although there is still a bit of that which is nice actually because who doesn’t love a homemade conserve.
But I do talks at a lot of these and it always surprises me how many young women go to them. Some WIs have belly dancing and pole-dancing classes, and there seems to be a lot of wine at them too.
There’s disabled access, drinks from the bar and parking at the Outpost and all women from 18-108 are welcome ‘No strangers in the WI, just friends you haven’t met yet’ they say. And I have to agree, they are a tonic for loneliness and there is great fun and friendship to be had.
Lovely to see the new blue plaque for Parky is up in Cud’orth in record time and that the unveiling ceremony was attended by his son Mike junior. It must have been very touching for him and to know that his father was so loved and revered by anyone with an ounce of taste.
So the ‘rusty comb’ might be here with us for a bit longer then. The controversial statue has stood adjacent to the Town Hall since 2013. I say ‘controversial’ because it seems to divide opinion greatly. I have no strong feelings about it personally. It doesn’t move me as a piece of artwork, not like the Angel of the North does.
I remember going to Newcastle with an artist friend of mine and seeing hanging up above our heads in a gallery, something that resembled a pair of giant women’s knickers with the sides cut open. But my artist friend was seeing this structure through a different pair of peepers. ‘Look at how it occupies the available space’ he said with awe. And the scales fell from my eyes. Art is personal to us all, sculptures, pictures, statues – even books and I know first hand that you can’t please all of the folk all of the time.
Maybe we would only see the impact of the big comb when it’s gone and realise it was better there than not. But, as a piece of artwork, it’s a great improvement on the famous ‘brok’ clock’ if you can remember that. The most expensive, pretentious waste of money the town has ever spent. Even my art-loving friend shook his head at that.
Aren’t brains weird? I was just reading about the scale of missed hospital appointments on last week’s front page and shaking my head. It’s not helping the NHS which is struggling and those missed slots could have been filled by people who really needed them. But I almost missed one myself last week because I’d totally forgotten about it. A flu jab at the docs. But exactly half an hour before I was due to go, my brain knocked on my skull with a timely reminder, like getting a notification from Alexa. I made the appointment thanks to my inbuilt alarm clock but all the way up there I was thinking how strange it was that my brain had remembered when I hadn’t.
Scientists wax lyrical over the untapped power of the brain don’t they and I wish I could be around when they finally realise all the powers the brain is capable of.